This “7 Proven Christmas Shopping Tips To Save Money” post describes the steps that could save you a ton of money during this Christmas season. This post contains affiliate links/ads. See disclosure policy.
It’s official. Holiday shopping is here and it’s here to stay for the next few weeks.
Some of us have already finished our Christmas shopping. Some of us just started or are starting to do our shopping. Some…well, will be procrastinators and will go shopping when Christmas is almost here. That’s just the reality of life.
My wife and I finished our Christmas shopping way back in July. Yes, that long ago.
The only thing we basically need to do is wrap those presents and be completely done. We will do those in a few weeks from now.
Anyways, Christmas season is really an expensive season. A lot of money will be spent on things such as gadgets, decorations, etc. It’s so easy to spend over $100 or even $200 when you have a lot of people to give gifts to. Personally, if I weren’t that frugal, I could easily spend over $300 between my 30+ brothers, sisters, mom, nephews, and nieces. Yes, we have a big extended family.
Fortunately, we have been able to keep our Christmas expenses to the bare minimum and still give gifts to our loved ones. How I wish I were still a kid because I would not have to buy gifts for everybody. But time has changed and I am completely fine with it. Or I should say my wife and I are completely fine with it.
7 Proven Christmas Shopping Tips To Save Money
Sit down and make a list.
Be like Santa Claus. Don’t just head out and buy what you think your loved ones will love to have.
Be sure to make a list and check it twice or three times. It may sound counter intuitive and foolish but it’s really important that you do this before shopping. With so many products out in the market and endless discounts here and there, it’s easy to get confused and buy more than what you intend to buy.
Let’s use an easy example. If you don’t make a list and go to a grocery store and buy your food, you tend to buy more than what you should really buy. I know that happens to my wife and I many times. But if you go to a grocery store with a list on your hand, more likely than not, you’ll buy what you have on your list.
The lesson here is go make a list before you make any move. You may spend an hour or a couple of hours listing those gifts and trimming them down but you’ll save more time later and money as well.
Visit online stores.
Before you even think about going out to look for those gifts, stop by the online stores to see where the best prices are for those products you want to buy. You can easily compare prices from different online stores without having to jump from one physical store to another.
The best thing about doing it online is that you are staying out of traffic and crowd.
Just in case you want to go to the physical stores, you can still look at online stores to see what products they have or don’t have. More likely than not, what they have online is what they have in-store.
Use shopping reward websites.
Another way to save a couple of dollars or more is to use shopping reward sites like Ebates and Swagbucks. The way these reward sites or cash back sites work is that you get a % back when you buy something from a store. Before you get that cash back, you need to access the retailer’s online store through a link from that cash back site.
If you want to go to Walmart, you can go to these cash back sites and search for Walmart. Once you see Walmart and click that link, you’ll get re-directed to the Walmart site. Once you’re done shopping at Walmart, you will earn cash back, which is based on what the % cash back stated in the cash back site is.
This year alone, my wife and I have made over $200 in cash back rewards.
Here are some of the cash back sites I highly recommend:
- MyPoints (Get $10 gift card when you spend $20)
- Swagbucks (Get $5 when you sign up)
- Dollar Dig (Sign up and get $5 instantly)
Buy and/or discounted gift cards.
So, before you make final decisions or pay for products you want to purchase, buy discounted gift cards. Yes, there are numerous sites out there dedicated to selling gift cards at discounted prices.
Some gift cards can be bought at a 5% discount and some at 30% discount, depending on the store.
If you do have gift cards that you don’t find any use for, you can sell those gift cards and use the money to buy gift cards you want to use or just use the money for something else.
You can buy discounted gift cards for just about any store there is out there. Whether it’s Walmart or Barnes and Noble, you will find a wide selection of gift cards on the following gift card online stores. These are the stores that my wife and I use every single time. We don’t leave the house without buying the gift cards we need to use. Yes, many gift cards can be bought and can be used at the same day.
- Raise.com (Get $5 when you sign up through this link)
- Giftcards.com (Buy gift cards online and earn rewards)
- Cardpool.com (Buy gift cards for up to 35% off or sell yours for up to 92% cash back. Plus, you will get $5 when you sign up through this link)
- Restaurant.com (My wife uses restaurant.com when we dine out. I say, you never have to pay full price when you use this site)
Use specific credit cards.
Credit cards aren’t always evil, that is, if you know how to use them and get the most out of them.
Some credit cards offer cash back, points, and other goodies. These are the cards that my wife and I love to use and we use them for just about anything (e.g. paying bills, filling up gas, and buying groceries).
Before you buy discounted gift cards, make sure you use those credit cards that you can get cash back, points, and other benefits. When you do this, you are not only saving because you’re buying gift cards at a discount, you are also getting cash back from using your credit cards. Sounds like benefit on the top of benefit to me.
Check for price updates.
Christmas is the season of fluctuating prices. Yes, today you may see the product you bought at 30% discount. Tomorrow or some other days, you may see it at 40% discount.
If you really want to save some money, you need to look out for these price fluctuations.
Some stores will adjust your prices and give you back the price difference. Some credit cards do the same thing. You just can’t get the price difference from the stores and the credit cards at the same time.
I bought a router a couple weeks ago and found that the price of the router went down a week after I bought it. I called my credit card company and asked for price difference. I got it without any problem.
Use online coupons.
Before you hit that buy button, you need to use coupon codes to get more discounts.
I like to use Retail Me Not site because I am able to find coupons that work. I always go to this site to cut my bill even lower.
You will be surprised with the range of discounts this site has.
What are you doing this season to save some more money?
PRODUCTS THAT MAY BENEFIT YOU
Survey Sites – For those who want to earn additional money for Christmas, I recommend that you check out these surveys. Here are some of the survey sites that my wife and I go to. Well, I should say these are the sites my wife goes to because I don’t put in as much as time as she does since I focus on my day job and blog. The surveys indicated below are FREE to sign up.
- Vindale Research (My wife and I earn $100-$150/month and around $200/month for friend referrals)
- Neilsen Digital Voice (Earn without taking a survey)
- Pinecone Research (Earn $3 per survey)
- Vindale (Earn $2 instantly by completing your profile. My wife earns at least $100/month on Vindale)
- Harris Poll Online (Earn while you surf online)
Acorns – Do you have CENTS TO INVEST? Now, you can invest as little as $0.01 through Acorns. Acorns will roundup your purchase and invest your spare change. For example, you purchased an item for $9.59. Acorns will round it up to $10.00 and invest the difference, $0.41, to various ETFs? It invests your spare change automatically. If you sign up via this link, you will get $5 BONUS. With Acorns, who says investing is difficult and costly? Not me.